2020 census will ask about citizenship status

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Non-citizens do not have the right to vote in federal and state elections.

"I personally spoke with Secretary Ross about this issue, and I am very disappointed that he appears to be disregarding the views of Republican and Democratic experts - including six former census directors - and is instead rushing ahead with a politically-motivated decision that will jeopardize the full, fair, and accurate count our Constitution demands", he said in a statement Tuesday. "Now, in one fell swoop, the US Commerce Department has ignored its own protocols and years of preparation in a concerted effort to suppress a fair and accurate census count from our diverse communities". The administration argues the change would improve enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

He said in a statement he would lead a multistate lawsuit to block the decision. "Our objective is to have this citizenship question - which arbitrarily ignores decade after decade of our nation's regular census practices - not included in the 2020 Census".

The state of California has perhaps the most to lose if the citizenship question does influence participation in the census count.

"A question on citizenship is a reasonable, commonsense addition to the census", he added. In announcing the decision Monday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the question should help identify possible voting rights transgressions.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, March 27, 2018, in Washington.

That question is now included on the American Community Survey, which offers a more detailed read on the state of the US population and replaced a different long-form questionnaire in the 2010 census.

NY and California, which have large immigrant populations, are taking legal action to block the move.




Governor Andrew Cuomo says the "reckless" census question will "undermine the accuracy and legitimacy of Census data".

The census, which takes place every 10 years, asked a question about citizenship until 1950. The move comes after a 2017 request by the Justice Department to include the question.

"Counting the number of USA citizens in the country should be a high priority of the census, and the only way to get an accurate count is to add a question about citizenship to the census itself", Cotton said. "Secretary Ross determined that obtaining complete and accurate information to meet this legitimate government goal outweighed the limited potential adverse impacts".

More challenges could soon follow.

A question about citizenship status on the 2020 United States census has been criticised by Democrats who say it will intimidate immigrants and discourage them from participating.

"Our Constitution requires a complete and accurate count of everyone living in the country, no matter her or his citizenship status".

Civil and immigrant rights groups are also preparing to act in response to the Trump Administration's decision, including by lobbying Congress to intervene. "This question is a unsafe move that could lead to a serious skewing of the final census results, which would have a deleterious effect on our system of representative democracy".

"We will litigate to stop the Administration from moving forward with this irresponsible decision", Holder wrote.

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